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December 2019

Study Tips for Your Next Language Exam

Increase your chances of scoring well with these tips

Preparing for exams can be stressful for many students. We all want to do as best as we can, though sometimes we don’t score as highly as we’d like. While dedication to study is an important aspect of knowing the material on which you will be tested, there are also other techniques that can help you do well.

Know what you need to study

While it sounds obvious, it’s important to know what you need to study. There’s no end to how much one can prepare for an exam, but knowing the focus of the exam can help students greatly in choosing where to center their concentration. Also important is the style of the test; multiple choice tests require familiarisation with grammar while essays require more advanced linguistic skills.

The best thing any student can do is to find sample tests. Sample tests allow students to become familiar with the test-taking process, a skill in and of itself, which will prepare them for the feeling of taking the actual exam. They also provide students with a framework of what’s most important to study. 

Create your space

It’s easier said than done to tell a student not to stress out. But finding a peaceful state of mind is important for optimising brain activity. Creating a dedicated study space can help with studies. Whether you choose the quietness of a library or opt to study outdoors, find a place that helps you concentrate and stay on task.

Tied with creating a peaceful physical space is creating a peaceful mental space. Choose a time of day when you can eliminate distractions (set that phone to silent mode) and really dedicate your time to your studies.

Find a friend

Preparing for exams shouldn’t be a solitary activity. Studying with a friend or a group can help in many ways. “Two heads are better than one”, the saying goes, and this is especially true when studying. Finding a study partner can help you when you’re stuck on a subject. If you have a question about something, your partner could help you out and vice versa.

Another benefit to forming a study group is that you can offer one another emotional support. Fellow students can help push each other on, encouraging success in the overall group. Studying alone can feel like an endless and painful journey, a journey better had with friends.

Maintain your health

“Healthy body; healthy mind”. A poorly functioning body cannot support a sharp mind. It’s important to maintain your physical health to aid your mental one. Eating well and hydrating are, of course, important to the body. Perhaps most neglected by students is adequate sleep time. Cramming the night before the exam is not a good idea, even if you think you’ll acquire more knowledge in the process.

When you feel really stressed out, take a break and go for a walk. While taking a break may feel like time wasted, it’s often when we step away that we come to realisations about our study material. A breath of fresh air may be just what you need to get over a study hump.

Don’t fall behind

As we just mentioned, cramming the night before an exam is not the ideal way to study. Be sure to create milestones for yourself throughout your course or study schedule so that you won’t fall behind. Take the initiative and test yourself often, then review the material you don’t know as well. Proper planning over the long term can save you from a final night of painful cramming. You’ll need that night for sleep, anyway.

What are your study tips? How do you prepare for exams? Let us know your thoughts on our Facebook Page, and be sure to “like” telc English for more articles on language study tips!